I just love this recipe for Tzatziki from The Joy of Cooking. It’s a cucumber and yogurt salad that can be used as a dip or spread, or even eaten with a spoon. I’ve left out the step of draining the yogurt and instead specified that you use Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is much richer and creamier than regular yogurt because it has already been strained of excess whey. I’m convinced the garlic mashing step is key to the amazingly tasty and refreshing dip that this makes.

Tzatziki (4-6 servings)

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons snipped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil

Toss the diced cucumber together with 1 Tsp of salt in a colander. Let it stand and drain for 30 min, then press the excess water out, quickly rinse, and blot dry.

Meanwhile, chop the garlic, then mash it together with 2-3 pinches of salt using the flat of your knife against the cutting board, until a paste is formed.

Combine the cucumber, yogurt, garlic mash, herbs, and vinegar in a bowl, adding salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the top with 1 Tblsp olive oil.

Serve with pita bread, fried zucchini, an indian curry, fried green tomatoes, cucumber sticks, or salmon.

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